Who'd have thought Adopt a Composer projects would end up marketed on Brighton buses? Lindsay Stoner, of the Fretful Federation Mandolin Orchestra offers some insight.
We are approaching the big day of the performance on 18 November and everything seems to be coming together well. The journey is an intense one and the orchestra has worked tirelessly over many weeks to get to grips with Esmeralda's composition – which offers a number of challenges particularly rhythmically – as well as playing to silent film. The film and score are in seven parts with tempo changes and bridges of black to navigate for each, and getting our timings right has been an enormous effort.
The project overall has led to some surprising happenings, such as our poster having exposure on one in every five buses - 56 buses in total - across all routes of the local Brighton and Hove Bus and Coach Company's buses. This resulted from running free 'come-and-try' mandolin and ukulele sessions on one of their buses at the hugely popular annual Paddle Round the Pier event on Brighton seafront this summer. It was a lot of fun!
Working with Esmeralda is a joy and we are truly privileged to have her as our composer. Her level of professionalism, knowledge and experience is giving us inspiration and insights into another level of performance possibilities.
Focusing so comprehensively as we have been on this project has allowed the group to become a stronger and more cohesive musical entity. The experience we are gaining is priceless.
We all are looking forward to presenting the culmination of our efforts to a live audience with the performance on 18 November. It's a daunting prospect but also exciting and it will be very interesting to see how the work is received. We hope our audience enjoys it as much as we do!
Words by Lindsay Stoner.